Santorum Rips 'Media Fascination' With GOP Division
As moderator David Gregory hyped a "feud" over national security between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Sunday's NBC Meet the Press, former Senator Rick Santorum called out a stunning media double standard: "...the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough similarly noted Democratic divisions on matters of national security and surveillance: "Well, but it's not just the Republican Party....there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party."
However, in the process of making that point, he laughably proclaimed: "Hillary Clinton has a much different world view. She's almost a neocon, dare I say. She has a much different worldview than, say, Pat Leahy."
Scarborough also lamented the GOP being controlled by "one wing" of conservatives: "You know, the Republican Party doesn't win 49 states anymore like we did under Reagan and Nixon because we have one wing right now. We need neocons, we need realists, we need people that balance each other out."
More of NBC's fascination with Republican division could be seen on the July 31 Today, when White House correspondent Peter Alexander declared: "A Republican family feud growing nastier by the sound bite."
Here is a full transcript of the August 4 exchange:
DAVID GREGORY: And Andrea, this is part of the fight that's going to be an even bigger political fight. We saw that play out with Rand Paul and Chris Christie this week, which is within the Republican Party, saying, "Hey, we need to take a look at the extent to which we want to be a security state in the face of this threat."
ANDREA MITCHELL: And the White House is certainly, as Senator Durbin was indicating, that 90-minutes meeting, you have ten senators and Congress leaders in there for 90 minutes with the President of the United States, that was a crisis meeting to say, "We have to narrow this. Five years, is that too long? Should we hold these data for two years? Should we force the telephone companies to do it rather than the government?" They see the political blowback in the White House, as well as now, as you point out, the fight that's emerging within the Republican Party.
GREGORY: Joe Scarborough, Dan Balz, who wrote the book Collision 2012, a terrific book about the 2012 campaign, he said this about the feud we've seen this week and where it's going looking ahead, when I spoke to him for our Press Pass conversation.
DAN BALZ [WASHINGTON POST]: Rand Paul's views, particularly on foreign policy, are alarming to a lot of people in the Republican Party who are internationalists, who tend to be interventionists, who believe in a muscular foreign policy, and what you've seen is the first of what is clearly going to be a long series of clashes about the direction of the party.
GREGORY: Cue up Joe Scarborough.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, but it's not just the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton has a much different world view. She's almost a neocon, dare I say. She has a much different worldview than, say, Pat Leahy. So there are going to be those battles going on in the Democratic Party. I think Rick and I agree probably on a lot of economic issues, I think on foreign policy, I'm a little closer to the Rand Paul camp. And I would guess you're a little closer to the Chris Christie camp. But there have been-
RICK SANTORUM: Chris is closer to me.
SCARBOROUGH: Chris is closer to you, exactly, exactly. You already prepping for 2016. I love it, right here. But you know what though, the important thing to remember here is a strong party has two wings. You know, the Republican Party doesn't win 49 states anymore like we did under Reagan and Nixon because we have one wing right now. We need neocons, we need realists, we need people that balance each other out. And we have it, but don't forget, again, the Democrats have it too. Because they're going to be electing somebody – if they elect Hillary, who's closer to view of a neocon-
GREGORY: But so how does this get resolved within the GOP, Rick, even different – in a different place than the party was in 2012?
SANTORUM: Well, let me just, I want to reiterate what Joe said, which is the media has a fascination with how divided the Republican Party is and tends to ignore the divisions within the Democratic Party. And I think they are as very much as real on this issue. Certainly on the NSA security issue, a big division. Big divisions here on...
SCARBOROUGH: Huge divisions.
SANTORUM: ...look, these are very complex issues, and as Joe said, it's a healthy debate because we're at a very transitional time in our nation's history. So I don't think it gets resolved. I think we – I think on the issue of national security, we're going to be iterating ourselves forward on this.